Living the dream.
Scuba diving instructor in Phuket Thailand .
One of the Most sort after jobs in Thailand for overseas workers is becoming a Scuba diving instructor and diving Phuket everyday. In Thailand Phuket is one of the largest if not the largest islands for scuba diving. There are many Phuket dive Centers on the islands and as a result they need many instructors. Phuket itself is a large island on the west coast of Thailand. Pretty much the whole Island is given over to Tourism in one form or another. From the Big party Town Patong to the Small Villages to the South like Rawai and Nai Harn all Support the Tourist Industry in one Way or another. Other Reason is the Scuba diving in Phuket is so varied and so suitable to teach Every level of course. From Discover Scuba Diving right through to instructor and beyond. The other reason its such a great place to work and dive is that Phuket diving is good all year round.
During the “High Season” which runs from mid October till normally second week of May to the north west of Phuket lie the Similan islands and Surin islands marine parks. The parks are closed for 6 months of the year to protect the marine life and keep the islands. . . in top condition. These two island groups offer some of the best diving on the planet. Both have exceptionally clear water even at 40 meters and offer a huge variety of marine life from the huge Whale Shark and Manta Ray to the tiny pygmy Sea horse and almost invisible Sea Moth. The Surin islands when done on a Similan island liveaboard also includes a day diving Richelieu rock which is rated in the top 10 sites in the world but to us who work here many rate Koh Tachai even higher.
For most new instructors just fresh from their IDC all they want to do is teach NOW. However in Thailand Phuket more so its not as simple as that. You need to get a work visa (non B) and a work permit. The 2 most common ways of obtaining a work permit are 1. setting up your own company which is very easy to do. There are many accountants who can do this for you. it takes anything from 6 weeks to two months to do everything. It does cost money but then you know you are safe and legal. The other way is many accountants have set up companies that can have many overseas staff. Again you still need your non B visa and the accountant will need time to get a work permit for you. In the long run both ways are ok. To set up your own company may be a bit more expensive for the first 2 years as the set up costs are more. But once you are up and running the second year is cheaper as you only have to renew your visa and work permit. Your monthly fees and tax are cheaper. To work on an accountants company is cheaper to start with as no set up costs just getting a work permit and visa, but the monthly fees and tax is normally higher. So if your plan is a year or two then its better to work under an. . . accountants company but if you wish to stay longer then its best to get your own company.
OK thats the boring stuff out the way. As a Phuket diving instructor from the end of November till mid March if not longer you can work with no day off diving everyday. As all dive instructors are freelance they can work for many different companies. Once. . . . you have your work permit all you do is give your number to all the dive centers you can find and when they have a customer come in they will call you. You get paid per job not as a fixed salary. After a while you will find you do a few jobs for one Phuket dive center and they will call you again and again until you are whats known as fixed freelance. You are freelance but one company books you everyday. The good thing as an instructor one day you can have a Discover Scuba diving Phuket course and the day after a Dive Master course then off to do a Similan liveaboard for a week or two. All the Similan islands liveaboards need instructors too and its quite common to go for a two or three day trip and end up staying for a couple of weeks. . As long as you treat it as work and not a holiday work will come thick and fast. Word gets round fast if there is a new good instructor about the same goes but the other way. Upset one company and the word will go round before you get back to shore that evening. The full time dive community is very close knit as we all know and work together everyday. People come for high season and move on but the ones who are here all year and they must number in the 100s or more are very close.
When low season comes. For your first low season its tough as long term instructors get the first call. However if you have all been loyal high season and then got in with one company you will be fine. If you have been working all over the place then it will be tougher as every dive center has two or three fixed freelance instructors they will call first. Your goal in the first high season is to get to be a fixed freelance for one Dive Center. Ok spend the first 2 Months going on Live Aboards and checking everywhere out but come end of Feb try to get in with one Dive school / Center to. . . secure work for low season. In low season you can go Four or Five days with no work. Thats normal. You just need to be careful in your first high season when money is plentiful to put some away for low season. So many instructors think all is great and then low season can come with no waning. Busy week one next week then 4 days off. If You are not prepared for this then find out as many do come June or July they are finished.
Being a scuba diving instructor Phuket Thailand is a Dream Job for many, it Really is. Blue sky, warm clear seas and living on a tropical island. Whats there not to like ?? Being paid to Go Scuba diving in Phuket . It dies not get much better than that. Just remember there are millions of others who also have the same dream too. Being a Phuket Scuba diving instructor Can be achieved if you want it. This really can be your dream job diving in the Andaman ocean everyday. Diving with Manta Rays and whale sharks for a living. If you want to live the dream then Phuket Thailand is a great place to start.